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Here’s the Skinny on Amphibian Obesity!

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Hey!  Party Marty here! TGIF!  My favorite day of the week! I am here today to dish on a topic not many of you want to face:  Obesity. And while I am well aware that such a condition affects people as much as it does pets…I am going to focus on something different for a change. I like to switch things up…keep you on your toes…and discuss things that perhaps others do not have the courage to do. I am the kind of cat who will speak his mind and enjoy the results.

So, here’s the deal. Obesity is a BIG deal….no pun intended.  You can have obese humans and obese animals. It happens. But have you ever considered an obese amphibian? Thanks to me, now you have! And I know some folks keep amphibians as pets, and, just like cats and dogs, it’s imperative to keep their health at top of mind.

Excess body weight can be a problem. It is a nutritional disorder that strains the body and taxes the organs. It can even lead to death in the most severe cases.  And while obesity is far more prevalent in large amphibians, such as South American horned frogs, Barred Tiger Salamander and Eastern Tiger Salamander, it can effect the smaller variety. Why? Well, even in captivity, amphibians will continue to consume prey that is made available without respect for their energy needs. It is up to the human, then, to regulate food intake by offering a stable, species-specific diet. However, please be sure to consult a veterinarian first for a diet that is appropriate for your beloved amphibian.

Besides the obvious symptom of appearing to be overweight, an obese amphibian may present as lethargic; have difficulty moving; and exhibit respiratory distress. The main cause of obesity is simple: Over feeding! Even amphibians on a regular diet that do not engage in exercise will eventually store the extra calories as fat.  Further, if your amphibian becomes injured or ill, limiting or preventing his ability to exercise, he can become overweight.

Your vet can examine your pet and determine the appropriate weight for its type. He can use gentle finger pressure to feel for fat deposits, and he should take into consideration conducting an ultrasound on females to distinguish between fat deposits and egg masses.

So, how is obesity treated in amphibians? First of all, consider enlarging its living area to allow for more movement and activity. This will improve his metabolic rate, allowing for more calories to be burned. Discuss with your vet the proper amount of exercise and metabolic rate with respect to your pet’s core temperature. If your pet exceeds his maximum recommend temperature for his species type, it could be dangerous to his health. Also…and this is obvious…reduce the amount of food/calories he consumes. Your vet can help you determine a proper nutritional plan.

Now, I have to get back to my other job – napping – as this endeavor has taxed me and I need to recover.  Have an amazing weekend and I will see you next week!  Thanks to for this great information! Here’s to all the amphibians who need to slim down!  We support you!




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